Two dogs were bitten by coyotes in the same west Knox County neighborhood in less than two months. The two pet owners hope their pets' stories protect more dogs from falling victim.
Mary Burns, who lives off of Lovell Road, let her one-year-old dachshund-beagle mix outside to use the restroom around 8 a.m. Thanksgiving. Burns became worried when Danni didn't return after a few minutes.
"I ventured to the barn, and I could hear the horrible fight going on. Then I noticed it was two coyotes," Burns said.
Danni needed drainage tubes and stitches to recover from the coyote attack. Her throat was so badly damaged that she may never bark again.
Jackie Kelley lives next door to Burns. Her boxer, Kacie, has been attacked twice by coyotes. The last incident occured in October.
"The shape of the puncture wounds is how I knew what was getting her," Kelley said.
Burns' friends and relatives living in Fountain City and Loudon County also have noticed coyotes roaming around their neighborhoods.
"You can never be too careful," said Burns. "If you see one of these animals and you have pets, go outside with that pet. If you have a small child, you go outside with that small child."
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said the coyote population has not drastically increased.
Instead, this is the time of year when the coyotes' food source is hard to come by.
TWRA said coyotes like eating squirrels, mice and plants.
They are currently roaming around looking for food.
TWRA suggests calling your local animal control if a coyote is causing concern on your property.